Please Note: If you are an author or editor needing to prepare an index to your book or other publication, you may wish to consult our Indexer Locator, which lists professional indexers, their areas of expertise, and full contact information. Find the indexer best suited for your project.

Note: ASI does not endorse these products and makes no claims as to their effectiveness or suitability for any particular use.

The software tools used to generate indexes come in many flavors and varieties. Which technique is used depends on variables such as budget, eventual re-usability of the source material, time constraints, media used to publish the material, file sizes and transferral issues, and individual preferences. There are essentially six different methodologies for indexing:

  1. Standalone or Dedicated indexing software, usually used for back-of-the-book indexes, allows indexers to work from page-numbered galleys. The indexing is completely separate from the published material.
  2. Embedded indexing is the process of creating index entries electronically in a document's files. The indexer inserts the index entries as invisible text in the electronic files. Although desktop publishing packages are not the best tools for indexing, they can be used to create effective embedded indexes. For technical documents that will be updated frequently or will go online, indexers can create embedded indexes that will help their audience find information quickly and efficiently. Some tools that allow for embedded indexing include FrameMaker, Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign (or the older PageMaker), Madcap Flare, and Quark Xpress. Markup languages that allow for embedding indexing include SGML, HTML, XML, and TeX/LaTeX.
  3. Tagging allows indexing codes to be embedded in the electronic text after the indexing is complete. The indexer inserts numbered placeholder tags in the files and then builds the index separately. Then, the indexer uses macros to insert the indexing at each tag in the files. Many tagging tools are developed in house to fit the publishing group's needs.
  4. Keywording is used primarily in online help materials. Keywording can take the form of hard-coded jumps or links, or it can be inserted as embedded coding and built into a list by the software.
  5. Automated indexing software, a tool that now accompanies most word processors, builds a concordance—a word list—from processed files. Although the manufacturers often claim these packages build indexes, the actual results are a list of words and phrases (which is sometimes useful in the beginning stages of building an index). Usability tests of these packages have shown that automatically generated word lists omit many key ideas and phrases and cannot fine-tune terminology for easy retrieval or build the needed hierarchies of ideas that professional indexing creates.
  6. Free-text and weighted-text searching tools are not discussed here, but indexers are interested in these aspects of information retrieval.

Dedicated Indexing Software

This list of dedicated software geared toward the needs of professional indexers is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all tools that indexers may use in the course of their work. ASI does not endorse any product.

To learn more about any of these products, visit the website by clicking on the product name. Support and sales information on this page was supplied by the respective software providers.


Platform: Windows, Mac
Free, open source (as of April 2024)

Index Manager

Platform: Windows, Mac
Publisher: Klarso GmbH, Berlin, Germany
Support: email Index Manager
or email Pilar Wyman, Regional Sales Manager, USA/Canada
Tel: 1-443-336-5497


Platform: Windows
Shareware (as of February 2022)
Support: email Hilary Calvert
Distribution and informal support for North America: email Do Mi Stauber Indexing Service
Tel: +44-7802-210-207
Support also available in the Macrex International Google Group.

SKY Index Professional™

Platform: Windows
Publisher: SKY Software
Support: email SKY Software
Tel: 1-540-751-4336


Platform: Windows
Licensed (single publication, one year, permanent)
Publisher: Harry Bego, Texyz, The Netherlands
Support: email Texys
Tel: +31-30-6700318
Fax: +31-30-3100271

Picardy 2.0

Platform: Windows, Linux; beta version for Intel Macs
Publisher: Rodney Boyd, St. John's, Canada
Support: email Picardy

Web Indexing

While dedicated indexing programs can be used in indexing web sites, web indexing programs are specifically designed to aid indexers working with web sites and other HTML documents.

HTML Indexer™

Platform: Windows
Publisher: David M. Brown, Brown Inc.
Support: email HTML Indexer

Utilities and Add-ons

These programs are designed to work as add-ons within the context of popular word processing and layout software.


Platform: MS Word
Publisher: jambient Software
Support: email jambient


Platform: MS Word

  • IndexConvert - Aids index import into Cindex, Macrex, Sky Index, Index-Manager, spreadsheets, and databases
  • IndexExploit - Supports rapid location of indexed content in Word and PDF documents; supports Word embedded indexing, including editing, debugging and in-situ re-sorting by reference to a stop word file.

Publisher: IndexBase, UK
Support: email Barry Campbell at IndexBase

iIndex Assistant

Platform: MS Word, PDF
Pay per use
Publisher: Pritha Enterprise Solutions, India
Support: email iSaaSTech
Tel: +91-636-994-5436


Platform: FrameMaker
Publisher: Frank Stearns Associates
Support: email Frank Stearns Associates
Toll-free (USA only): 1-800-567-6421
Outside the USA: 1-360-892-3970
Fax: 1-360-253-1498

The Editorium™

Platform: MS Word

  • DEXter - indexing add-in
  • DEXembed - embeds entries in Word from indexes created with dedicated indexing software
  • IndexDeconstructor - converts back-of-the-book indexes into a tab-delimited file for importing into indexing software

Support: email The Editorium

LevTech Utilities

Platform: varies by utility

  • EntryExpander - for CINDEX™ and Sky Index™ Professional)
  • HTML/Prep - for various programs)
  • IndexCheck - for CINDEX™ and Sky Index™ Professional
  • IXMLembedder - for CINDEX™ and Sky Index™ Professional
  • Several more

Publisher: Leverage Technologies, Inc.
Support: email Leverage Technologies
Tel: 1-888-838-1203
Fax: 1-440-838-1203


Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux
Subscription, online (software as a service)
Publisher: JOyAN Enterprises, dba VBAtech
Support: email VBAtech